8 Customer Experience Trends That Will Rule Businesses in 2018

January 19, 2018 by Abigael Shem

Improving customer experience trends in 2018 are what most executives discuss these days. But, many ideas about developing and implementing strategies are left out of the discussions.

The business world is a world of competition. You either catch up or fade away. What is fresh, viable and essential for you to stay in the competition, may change swiftly tomorrow. So, staying up-to-date on customer service trends is essential to your business’s’ success.

Make sure your customers don't have a frustrating, overwhelming shopping experience. I
Make sure your customers don’t have a frustrating, overwhelming shopping experience. Image Credit: sergeblack © 123RF.com

Make Your Business a Winner with These 8 Customer Service Trends for 2018

Here are 8 customer experience trends that will keep you up in the game:

1. Innovative Speech Recognition Systems

To achieve nearly 100% accuracy, firms are effectively merging artificial intelligence with human understanding. This is due to frequent frustrations consumers experience by the first generation speech recognition technology.

Every customer is different when it comes to speech. Some speak softly, others unclearly. There is a category of those that have an accent. This can stupefy a speech recognition system. Others will have service issues that a robot can’t address.

Innovative Speech Recognition Systems
Innovative Speech Recognition Systems. Image Source: Bit Rebels

In such cases, interactions will go off the rail. The customer experience will be memorable for all the wrong reasons. To cub all the limitations, the new hybrid speech recognition systems address these problems cleverly.

Live staff is able to satisfy a two-way conversation with customers. The staff will also be able to spend more time helping the customer who really needs assistance.

2. First Class Service Expansion

This dwells mostly in the tourism industry. It is common for wealthier passengers to be offered first class travel options. The wealthier are given priority seating, luxurious accommodations and attentive service.

The Pearl Source offers personalized services through its Build-A-Pearl Necklace collection.
The Pearl Source offers personalized services through its Build-A-Pearl Necklace collection. Image Credit: The Pearl Source

Medical fields are also expanding their concierge services. Doctors will provide you with expedited care if they are on a retainer. This may include a commitment to limit patient loads and maximizing their availability to VIP clients.

This customer experience trend is closely watched by players in many other industries as well. You can extend their premium services to further expand market share. How much you have to offer will really determine what you offer VIP clients.

3. Personalized Service Wherever You Go

Personalized services to customers are being adopted by numeral brands in recent times. Disney uses wearable medallion technology in its theme parks. Carnival and other hospitality brands are trying to emulate the same medallion technology.

Knowing guests’ names, where they prefer to dine and entertain themselves, their rooms and account numbers can be accessed by servers. Location-based technologies allow a hotel, retailers, restaurants and more to know who you are once you enter their doors. This is actually what the personalized customer experience technology is all about in 2018.

Personalized Vitamin Service
Personalized Vitamin Service. Image Source: Pinterest

As a competitor, you will be able to target your customers via beacons. You will be privileged to instantly know potential and current customers, what they buy most and what they plan to buy later.

This will offer you a powerful opportunity to customize your services and products. Such technology should be handled with utmost care. If not, it can easily backfire or have regulatory risks, especially when it comes to privacy.

4. The On-Demand Economy Expands

These days, everyone is into on-demand services. From ride sharing to food delivery, from liquor delivery to makeup services… consumers want what they want right now.

Sittercity is a company that comes to your aid on a Saturday night. Babysitters and parents are connected via Sittercity, which offers well-reviewed babysitters who are near you and available all the time.

Customer experience trends for 2018: There are numerous brands that provide on demand services these days.
Customer experience trends for 2018: There are numerous brands that provide on demand services these days. Image Source: Tech Crunch

Another on-demand brand, Glamsquad, delivers professionals in the hair styling and makeup industries to your door step. These appointments are booked via a mobile app or online.

Customers are enjoying and embracing the on-demand services. Independent workers are earning some good cash in the middle of their own schedules while serving customers. With some creativity, you can come up with an on-demand style service that will improve your brand’s customer experience trends.

5. Voice Assistant Technology

Who is the Voice Assistant King? Well, no one actually knows but Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Echo are fighting over the title. Marriott is working on determining which among the two works more effectively. They want to help guests with:

  • Turning on lights
  • Controlling the temperature
  • Closing drapes
  • Changing television channels
  • Ordering room service
Voice Assistant Technology
Voice Assistant Technology. Image Source: Yahoo

What would really matter is how easy guests will be able to log into their personal accounts and get the content they want without being stuck with whatever the hotel offers. A voice assistant would listen and respond to you effectively.

It is for Marriott to decide which device will work best for them. Whichever company wins for Marriott, it will be a head start in promoting their devices in penetrating the smart home technology market.

6. Feedback & Reviews Rule in 2018

This is one of the customer experience trends that is gaining popularity year after year. For reviews to be good, they must hold tremendous value. Reviews also have to be specific in order to motivate staff members.

Online Feedback & Reviews Elevate the Customer Experience
Online Feedback & Reviews Elevate the Customer Experience. Image Source: Paris Retail Week

You want to allow your clients to recommend and rate your high performing associates, services and/or products. These reviews must be portable… meaning, they can be accessed anywhere.

If you received a review while working with a client, you can easily showcase your feedback to prospective clients online. This would be via a dashboard similar to that of a LinkedIn profile, on local review sites such as Yelp and on your website.

7. Frictionless Experiences

Retailers are going frictionless to eliminate lines and other counterproductive shopping experiences. Everyone hates standing in line, especially lines that move at snail paces.

Amazon Go is a good example of an online grocery store that is vanquishing the traditional ways of shopping. This brand makes shopping easy and fun!

Frictionless Shopping is one of the customer experience trends for 2018.
Frictionless Shopping is one of the customer experience trends for 2018. Image Source: Apparel Mag

Every business is looking for ways of shifting to frictionless customer experience trends. Remember that customer expectations are moving in one direction fast… and, that’s forward.

8. Wellness and Lifestyle Are Healthy for Businesses

Wellness and nutrition programs should be in the minds of any business firm’s marketing managers. Brick and mortars offer these new and immersive programs to their customers when possible.

Wellness & Lifestyle Apps
Wellness & Lifestyle Apps. Image Source: Talk Wellness

These retailers take their cues from the hospitality industry. In Westin Hotels, their guests are under a sponsored science program of running either three or five miles. Williams-Sonoma provides in-store cooking classes for its customers, while Lululemon offers yoga classes and running clinics.

Shopping experiences are enhanced when such services are offered. Numbers will actually increase and human-to-human connections between associates and customers are enhanced. Businesses reap benefits if they incorporate wellness and lifestyle activities into their services somehow.

Infographic: 15 Customer Experience Trends for 2018
Infographic: 15 Customer Experience Trends for 2018. Image Source: Experience Matters

How Will You Implement Customer Experience Trends in 2018?

Businesses always contemplate implementing new trends that help them to stand out in their industries. Ensure that you make your customer experiences memorable. They can be positive or negative.

The choice is yours whether to deliver a standard customer experience, or one that’s outstanding and worth reviewing for the world to see.

Which customer experience trends will you be implementing for your brand’s success in 2018? Share with us in the comments below.

Abigael Shem
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Abigael Shem

The Pearl Source Blogger at Content Marketing Geek
Abigael Shem is a Content Marketing Geek with eight years' experience in academic, content, research and creative writing, editing and proofreading. When she's not writing, she enjoys singing, dancing, hiking, traveling and sports, especially football and basketball. Abigael currently blogs for The Pearls of Wisdom blog.
Abigael Shem
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